Paul Simon: ‘Stranger to Stranger’ rave reviews say his best since ‘Graceland’

“Stranger to Stranger” is the 13th full length solo album by legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon. Released on June 3, the new album has earned raves, scoring 89 on MetaCritic, which places it second on the list of the year’s best reviewed albums so far, behind Beyonce‘s “Lemonade” (92). Will it win Simon more Grammys?

Simon has already won 12 Grammys over the course of his career, including a remarkable three Album of the Year prizes for “Graceland” (1987), “Still Crazy After All These Years” (1975) and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970). That ties him for the record of most Album of the Year titles with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, producer Daniel Lanois and engineer Bob Ludwig.  But he hasn’t won a Grammy since 1987, and he hasn’t been nominated for Album of the Year since “You’re the One” in 2000.

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Read some of the reviews for “Stranger to Stranger” below, and make sure to join the Grammy discussion in our forums:

Jon Dennis (The Guardian): “‘It’s hard working the same piece of clay, day after day, year after year,’ sings Paul Simon on the title track of ‘Stranger to Stranger,’ his first album since ‘So Beautiful Or So What’ in 2011. But his tenacious pursuit of new sounds, such as the unique microtonal instruments of composer Harry Partch on ‘Insomniac’s Lullaby,’ and juxtapositions such as the gnarled blues guitar (played by Simon) and cello on ‘The Riverbank,’ make this album as rewarding as anything he’s done.”

Steve Smith (Boston Globe): “‘This album began, as mine often do, in a season of emotional winter: barren landscape, no ideas, anxiety about no ideas, lethargy leading to increased caffeine consumption,’ Paul Simon writes in his liner notes for ‘Stranger to Stranger,’ his 13th solo album and first since 2011. We should all be so lucky, or at least so effectively caffeinated: the album that resulted is Simon’s richest, most instantly appealing collection since ‘Graceland.'”

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Randy Lewis (Los Angeles Times): “The visceral sonic qualities of the 11 tracks on the collection, due Friday, are as commanding as his ever-literate lyrics and consistently inviting melodies. Yet this is nothing new for one of the premiere singers and songwriters of the rock era, who plays Wednesday at the Hollywood Bowl. At 74, Simon reaches ever further for new textures, musically and sonically, to help him say what he wants to say, making ‘Stranger to Stranger’ a distinguished and captivating extension of, rather than a dramatic departure from, his rich body of work.”

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